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Crafting Scalable Brand Strategies for Franchise Growth: Insights from a Seasoned Expert

In Conversation with Elyse Lupin

In this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Elyse Lupin, Founder of Elysium Marketing Group, located in Ambler, Pennsylvania, United States. Elyse shares valuable insights drawn from her extensive experience working with big brands like Comcast, Walt Disney, and NBC, shedding light on the critical factors that contribute to successful marketing across diverse platforms. From leveraging user-generated content to navigating the complexities of the franchisee model, this episode is a treasure trove of actionable tips for marketers and business enthusiasts alike. Tune in to learn the secrets to standing out in the competitive digital space while maintaining brand integrity.

Leveraging AI is all about enhancing efficiency, but it’s crucial to remember that it’s a tool for refinement and not a final product.

Elyse Lupin
Founder of Elysium Marketing Group

Hey, hi everyone. Welcome to your show E-coffee with experts. This is Ranmay, your host for today’s episode. Today we have Elyse who is the founder and CEO of Elysium Marketing Group. Welcome, Elyse.

Thank you. Thanks for having me

Great before we move forward and talk more about digital marketing.

Why don’t you help us understand more about your journey and how your agency was formed? What do you guys offer and how are you guys different from all the agencies out there?

Sure, so I’ve had the agency for 9 years. Now we are full service. So, we have an entire creative arm and we have an entire strategic arm.

One of the ways that we’re different is we are a food and franchise agency. So not 100 percent of our clients, but the majority of our clients are either restaurant groups or franchisors or franchisees.

Brilliant Elyse and drawing from your extensive experience with big brands like Comcast, Walt Disney, and NBC could you shed light on the most critical factors that contribute to, successfully integrating marketing strategies across various platforms and media?

How does it relate to those companies?

Yeah. In terms of all your experience of working with all these big brands, has helped you form those marketing strategies with your agencies for your clients, across various platforms and media.

Yeah. So, I had different roles at each of the companies.

So, when I worked at the New Balance Athletic Show, it was in the consumer insights department. So that was research-heavy and learning the importance of that piece of it. When I worked at Comcast, it was. Direct marketing heavy. So, we worked with a really strong email marketing agency. And we did direct mail.

And so that’s influenced a lot of our strategies now because we take what I’ve learned back then. You have to stay up to date with everything because things [00:02:00] change, but it’s the foundation for a lot of what we do for our clients.

Great. And like you mentioned and also when we were speaking before we went live you are quite heavy on the food and franchisee marketing, right?

So, what do you feel are the challenges and opportunities specific to promoting, food-related franchises in this digital age? How competitive is it? What are the challenges that the new players out their kind of face while getting into this space?

Yeah, so I think there are challenges depending on where the franchise is at.

When we’re working with emerging franchise brands, it’s just getting people to understand who is the brand. What do they offer? Why should they almost take a risk right at the beginning? Because if there aren’t a lot of franchisees, what makes this a good idea? To invest in, there are different challenges there versus brands that have been around for a long time that are established.

That may be a little bit more expensive, but [00:03:00] it’s a little bit less of a risk. From a digital marketing perspective, you have to handle both differently. From the emerging brands, it’s really, like I said, telling the story of, who are the people behind the brand and why did they do it?

And how is it going to make your life better? And then for the brands that are more established the digital marketing is more along the lines of, why should you do this brand versus another established brand?

Absolutely. And, in this franchisee model, I would like to imagine, that driving sales is as crucial as keeping the brand, integrity intact.

So, could you provide a more, detailed overview of the strategies and tactics, you have found most effective, not only in attracting, customers but also in converting leads into, loyal patrons for these businesses?

Yeah, it depends on where you’re at in the funnel.

So, we do social media advertising for the franchise brands. And sometimes it makes sense to do it on meta, but a lot of times LinkedIn [00:04:00] is a good place because you can target specifically people who are already interested in a franchise or who have some sort of, entrepreneurial, tag or something else that you can figure out why it would make sense to target them.

So, we do a lot of LinkedIn-targeted advertising for franchises. We also do a lot of Google PPC. So, when people are looking for a franchise, there are a lot of common keywords that they look for best franchise, best food franchise. We do competitor PPC as well. So, if there’s a brand that’s in, let’s just say the pizza.

Industry and you type in one of their competitors, you want to show up. So, they consider you and their consideration set as well. Maybe they had a friend who recommended this particular pizza brand, but when they see what you offer, they then, reach out and become a lead for you.

And in today’s date, the concept of omni-channel marketing has gained so much prominence, right? So, for franchisee brands, how do you strategically implement, omni [00:05:00] channel strategies to ensure a seamless customer journey across various touch points from online interactions to in-person experiences, ultimately the end goal being driving sales and enhancing loyalty.

Yeah, there’s a CRM involved and trigger emails that are involved so that if someone does reach out there’s an acknowledgment. Franchising is a little bit different because when you’re selling a franchise, there are certain steps that you have to go through like the FDD and things like that.

It’s a considered purchase, because it’s so expensive too. So, there are different channels built in to stay in front of the perspective person. We even use email marketing to a certain degree, not just triggers, but general email marketing. Because sometimes someone will become a lead and then they go away for one reason or another.

And if you stay in front of them by saying, hey, we have this great new location open. It might be the right time for them now. And they might be interested in that location. And then they [00:06:00] become a lead back in the funnel.

All right. And I’m talking about, social media with the rise of social media and user-generated content consumer influence has become a major factor in brand perception, right?

So how do you feel, that franchisee brands harness the power of or can harness the power of user-generated content and online reviews to boost, brand awareness and make? The customers more feel, connected.

Okay. So, we’re shifting to franchisee now, right? We were talking about franchises or now we’re talking about franchisees.

Okay. Yeah, for food, especially there are great ways that you can use user-generated content because humans for some reason or another like taking pictures of their food. And talking about how delicious their meal is, so that’s just social proof that then you can, with permission reuse and get people to understand that.

It’s not just the brand saying it. It’s the people who are eating there who are genuinely saying this. And so, it [00:07:00] helps a little bit with. Truth and marketing so that it’s not just the brand touting its offerings. It’s other people who are and the other thing with that too is there are food influencers and they don’t have to be like ginormous influencers, but, getting an influencer in your particular area out, talking about a new dish, a new opening.

That’s been effective as well.

Absolutely. I can vouch for that because one of our clients took this route of influencer model and they were quite convinced it’s going to work and had the budget to do it as well. And then it worked wonders for them.

So, I can vouch for that. Yeah. And, at least the competition for attention in this digital space is very fierce. You and I know that because we have been working with brands that are in a competitive space for ages now. Yeah. What do you think, how do you elaborate on the creative and advanced lead generation techniques?

Because that is what we spoke about, right? That you employ to make franchisee [00:08:00] brands. stand out. And whether it’s, through interactive content, gamification, or any other innovative approaches that Elysium Marketing Group uses maybe.

Yeah. So, I think it’s just testing and learning, right?

So, it’s trying to figure out, okay, if we use like what message resonates with people, what’s a message that would stand out. We do use a lot of movement in our creative because we found that works well. Everybody knows video works well. So, if we can get a really good video that can have good legs and people relate to, I think.

Social being just so much right now, I think the biggest thing is you want to stand out in some way, whether it’s, an educational piece that people are like, oh, I didn’t know that now. I know that or something. That’s funny that people want to share it with other people. So, it’s just trying to figure out what makes sense for their particular brand and then getting it out there.

And then I always say too, even though it’s been used for years and years, and it’s nothing new. Yeah. Testimonials are humongous. We were just talking about user [00:09:00] generated content, but if you get a really good Google review or Yelp review or whatever else that really, is something that people can tell is authentic, that is going to work well as well, because like I mentioned earlier, it’s, you’re marketing it out there, but it’s not you saying it, its other people saying it about you.

Absolutely. Reviews play such an important role in this particular industry, someone else talking about, how they had a good experience of, being at your place and stuff. Yeah, absolutely. So that works wonders actually in a lot of industries today because of the presence of social media, your, or previous customers’ experiences, talk a lot about who you are and how you deal with your customers, what are offerings, be it product or service for that matter.

Yeah. And at least, we are all in this, I cannot let you go without asking this one about obviously AI, it has taken our industry by storm. We have settled in now, but yeah, exciting times ahead. We cannot be ever sure. [00:10:00] Where are we headed, right?

So just wanted to understand, that the integration of technology such as AI data analytics, and machine learning, has transformed our marketing landscape. What is your take on it? How do you guys use it as a marketing group? And what are the advanced tools, you would suggest budding marketers, and digital marketers to keep an eye on if they want to make their career in digital marketing?

The first thing I always say when we talk about AI is that garbage in, garbage out. If you’re going to feed whatever AI you’re working with something terrible, you’re going to get something terrible out. So that’s the first thing that I tell my team when we’re talking about it.

I use it for refining. I’m very much an ideals person, but I don’t always have the patience to sit down and refine either a blog or a white paper or whatever else. So, for me, I a lot of times do just a big brain dump into AI of here’s [00:11:00] everything. And I don’t stop typing.

It’s just like a, here’s everything that I want to go in here. And then usually. You get something back that’s pretty darn good, but then you still have to go in and figure it out. Okay. This is not at all what I was saying. No, take that piece out or yeah, this says it better than I was thinking about it.

Or this is different. This is not what I mean. But it is a time saver for sure. Initially, I was. Sceptical and thinking there’s no way you can do it better, but I don’t think it’s better. I think it’s just another tool, to work a little bit faster. It helps with efficiency for sure. But I said, it’s not a, let it do its thing and then just leave it alone.

Initially, I was against it, but now I’m finding it just helps me be more efficient and, say things sometimes in a little bit more refined matter. We haven’t really, and I know there are a lot of AI tools in the creative space. We haven’t done a ton with that just because we have such strong designers [00:12:00] but possibly we can look into that to make them more efficient as well.

But for now, they’re just they’re really good. And so there hasn’t been a need. The last thing I’ll say is that it’s absolutely scary as wonderful as it can be. It’s petrifying, and so I half am leaning in with this is amazing, and I half am like, oh my god, where is this going?

No, I’m with you on that one.

It is not a final deliverable product, right? Because it still has to be human-edited if you talk about content. For sure. And so, as it’s it has its limitations across other disciplines as well. So yeah, it’s a work in progress is how we look at it, but yeah, certainly if you use it to the optimum, it increases your efficiency and saves time.

Yeah. So, no harm that way. Yeah. Great. Yeah. Elyse, it has been a wonderful conversation, but before I let you go, I would like to play a quick rapid-fire with you. I hope you game.

Okay. Here we go.

All right. Let’s start with an easy one. Yeah. Your last Google [00:13:00] search.

That’s a good one. I think it was my daughter’s dance school. Cause I’m trying to figure out when this session ends.

Okay. Great. Yeah. All let’s move on to the next one. What did you do with your first pay check?

First pay check ever? Knowing me, I’d probably put it in the bank.

All right.

No, wonder you are an entrepreneur now. You save lots, right? Great. Wonderful. All right. So at least if we were to make a movie on you, all right, what genre would it be?

a business documentary.

Oh, okay. All right. Where do we find you on Friday evenings?

With my children and my husband going out to dinner.

Oh, all I should have asked was Thursday evening because, for all we know, you guys work from home on Friday. So, on Thursday evenings, let me rephrase my question.

Thursday evenings, I’m playing tennis with my tennis group and [00:14:00] I’m getting in some crazy matches with my tennis group.

All right. Wonderful. Great, Elyse. I, will not grill you any further. Thank you so much for doing this yeah.

Thank you for having me.

Absolutely. I’m sure our audience would have benefited a lot from this conversation today.

And yeah, really appreciate it. Thank you.

Thank you so much.



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